Atlanta, GA — With the playoffs kicking off Wednesday night, and the single-game elimination rule being a leading factor in these first round match ups, the Atlanta Dream did not have time to dwell on one of their star players, Tiffany Hayes, sitting out due suspension.
Even though Angel McCoughtry suffered from foul trouble, she did not let this stop her from going on a scoring rampage. Attacking the basket and finding a feel for her shot early in the game, McCoughtry ended with 37 points to help the Dream advance into the second round of playoffs with a 94-85 victory over Seattle.
McCoughtry was unstoppable, as she did what she wanted on the court to help secure the victory for the Dream. She is known for being an attacker, yet tonight McCoughtry stepped out past the three-point line and drain 3-for-4 three-pointers, to go along with her drives to the basket and mid-range shots.
The Seattle Storm was able to stick close to Atlanta having 10 ties, and seven lead changes. Many of those ties and lead changes came from the play of Jewell Loyd and Breanna Stewart. But, even with their combined efforts, it wasn’t enough to pull out a win.
In this fast pace game, attacking the paint on offense and having a variety of defensive tactics is what kept the Dream in the lead. In the second half, Atlanta went to a zone and Seattle struggled to score against it.
In the end, McCoughtry and Atlanta’s zone was too much for Seattle to overcome. Following right after McCoughtry, rookie Bria Holmes started to partake in the offensive action, pouring in 21 points herself. Holmes has been playing exceptional basketball for the Dream since returning from the break; she was the only player who played the entire 40 minutes — and her efficiency didn’t suffer one bit.
Loyd led the way with 24 points and Stewart chipped in 19 points, seven rebounds, for Seattle in their final game of the 2016 season.
After taking home the win on Wednesday night, Atlanta will face the Chicago Sky on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN 2.